News – 2010–11

Items on this page are in reverse chronological order (i.e. the most recent items are at the top). For the very latest news, visit the home page.

Sad news regarding Paul Todd (3rd May)

Ashfield Chess Club are sorry to announce the death of Paul Todd in March this year. Paul was a former Secretary of the Notts Chess Association and a great supporter of chess at both local and county level. A full obituary will follow. Message from Neil Graham.

Obituary for Dr George Stein 1936-2011 (3rd May)

Neil Graham has kindly written an obituary in respect of the late George Stein. He joined the Ashfield (then called Sutton-in-Ashfield) Chess Club in the 1970s when the club was flourishing and had 10 teams in two different leagues. George acted as team co-ordinator. He was also appointed captain of the county second team. In later years George was voted Life President of the Ashfield Chess Club.

Southend Congress (27th Apr)

Alex Combie (Newark) played in the Open section and scored 3½/7.

Rules Revision meeting to be held on 23rd May (17th Apr)

The Rules Revision meeting takes place at the West Nottingham CC on Monday 23rd May starting at 7:30pm. Any proposals for changes to the League Rules should be submitted to Andy Walker by no later than Monday 18th April, and should be made in accordance with Rule A5. Any other business for the meeting should be notified to Andy Walker by Monday 2nd May, so that papers can be circulated in good time for the meeting.

Chess tournaments in Crete (17th Apr)

A couple of chess tournaments are taking place this summer at the beautiful Crete Island. The Rethymno tournament is a 9 round swiss FIDE rated event from 11-18th July. The Paleohora tournament is the same format and runs from 20-27th July. For further details visit the tournament web sites.

Notts Under 9 finish 4th in National final (17th Apr)

The Notts under 9 team finished a disappointing 4th in this year's National final. They started well and were in second place after round 1 but a disastrous second round saw them drop to fourth which is where the team finished. The final standings were:

1st Sussex 30.5
2nd Wey Valley 29.5
3rd Barnet 29
4th Nottinghamshire 27
5th Kent 25.5

Best Game Prize for Notts players (10th Apr)

Entries are invited for the Best Game prize. These should be sent to Andy Walker and in PGN format, but alternatives acceptable, by May 31st. Any game played under the auspices of the NCA in the past year is eligible. Games will be anonymised and submitted to an independent adjudicator.

Nottingham Congress (10th Apr)

Mark Hebden (Braunstone) won the Open with a perfect score of 5/5. There was a four way tie for first place in the Major section between Andrew Garside (West Notts), Tim Poole (University), Anthony Sadler (Solihull) and Darren Lee (South Birmingham), each scoring 4/5. Full results.

Obituary for Peter Dodson 1929-2010 (10th Apr)

Peter Dodson died on the 13th December 2010. He was one of the strongest players in the county in the fifties and sixties. He contributed to chess at many levels including playing for the county team, playing for Nottingham Mechanics in the league, junior chess, correspondence chess and playing in competitions. Andy Walker has written an obituary in honour of Peter Dodson.

National Girls' Chess Championship Qualifier Event (10th Apr)

The National Girls' Chess Championship Qualifier event takes place on Sunday 12th June at Ockbrook in Derby. It is open to female chess players under the age of 18. There are 6 rounds with 30 mins each on the clocks. An entry form is available to download. For further information visit Chevannes Chess Academy.

Blackpool Congress (31st Mar)

Tracey Clegg (West Notts) came equal 3rd in the minor section with a score of 4/5 and won £50 prize money plus £50 for the ladies prize. In the major section Daniel Wells (Newark) won a grading prize of £33.33 with a score of 3½/5. And in the open section Alex Combie (Newark) scored 3/5 with a grading performance of 201.

Inter-County U140 Championship: Worcestershire 5½-10½ Nottinghamshire (31st Mar)

A decisive win over Worcestershire means the U140 team finish in second place in the MCCU U140 Championship and qualify for the ECF final stages. They will play Kent in the quarter final on Sat 21st May. Full results.

Congress Arrangements - Saturday April 2nd (29th Mar)

The congress will be sharing the High School with the EPSCA U9 Finals on Saturday. Rounds 1 & 2 of the congress will be in the Junior Refectory, with one section probably in the adjacent building. Round 3 and the two rounds on Sunday will be in the Senior Refectory.

Parking will be tight on Saturday for the U9's (who start after the congress) so it would be very much appreciated if there could be maximum car sharing or use of public transport. Message from Robert Richmond.

South Herts Congress (16th Mar)

The 29th St Albans and South Herts Chess Congress is taking place at St Columbia's College in St Albans on Saturday 9th April - Sunday 10th April. You can download an entry form. For further details visit the St Albans Chess Club web site.

Sad news regarding Dr George Stein (16th Mar)

Ashfield Chess Club is sorry to announce the death of the Club Life President, Dr George Stein. Dr Stein organised Ashfield, at that time Sutton-in-Ashfield, Chess Club in the 1970s when the club was in its most vigorous period running eight Notts League teams. He also captained the county 2nd team successfully. A longer tribute will follow.

(Neil Graham, Ashfield Club)

Mind Sports Olympiad (16th Mar)

The 15th Mind Sports Olympiad will take place on August 20-28. The venue for this year is the University of London Union (ULU). The chess events taking place include Chess Rapid 20m, Chess Exchange, Chess 960 20m and Chess Evening 40m. Visit the Mind Sports Olympiad web site for further details.

Inter-County U180 Championship: Nottinghamshire 10½-5½ Warwickshire (3rd Mar)

Nottinghamshire scored a convincing victory against Warwickshire by 10½-5½ and are the winners of the U180 championship. As only 2 teams took part they both progress to the national stages. Full results.

Doncaster Congress (3rd Mar)

Richard Webster (West Bridgford) came equal first place in the Major with a score of 4/5 and won £100 prize money. Alex Combie (Newark) came equal 3rd place in the Open with the same score and won £50 prize money. Here is a summary of all the Notts players who took part (all scores out of 5):

Inter-County U140 Championship: Shropshire 8½-7½ Nottinghamshire (3rd Mar)

The U140 team suffered a narrow defeat to Shropshire by losing 8½-7½. Last weekend Staffordshire defaulted against Nottinghamshire and this now puts the team in second place. Full results.

Inter-County U140 Championship: Nottinghamshire 8-8 Derbyshire (3rd Mar)

The U140 team drew 8-8 with Derbyshire in an evenly balanced match. The team scored well on the top and bottom boards but lost points on the middle boards. Full results.

Nottingham Rapidplay (27th Jan)

GM Mark Hebden won the 2011 Nottingham Rapidplay with a score of 5½/6. Full Results

New venue for Gambit (22nd Jan)

Gambit chess club have moved to the Lincolnshire Poacher pub on Mansfield Road with immediate effect. The full address is 161-163 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FR. The chess is held in the function room which is upstairs. Full details are available on the information page.

Hastings Masters (15th Jan)

There were 3 Notts players in this year's Hastings Masters. The leading Notts player was David Coates (Grantham) who scored 4/9 and gained 10 points to his FIDE rating. David Flynn (Nomads) scored 3½/9 and Richard Webster (Ashfield) scored 2½/8.

A selection of games is now available for replay.

CCF Chess Events (26th Dec)

CCF are running the following chess events over the next couple of months:

Saturday 8 & 9 January 2011 - Long Play Congress Enter now
Saturday 13 February 2011 - Nigel Short Simultaneous Enter now

If you are interested in entering either of these events then please follow the enter now link above. For further details contact Scott Freeman on

Nottinghamshire County Championship (30th Nov)

The 2010 County Champion is Abel Yap of Notts University who cruised to victory with an impressive score of 4½/5. Full details.

British Rapidplay (30th Nov)

The leading Notts player in the Open was Alex Combie (Newark) with a score of 6/11. In the Sunday U12 Rapidplay Harry Croasdale (Nottingham HS) came equal 2nd place with a score of 4/5. Here is a summary of the results for all the Notts players that took part:

Message from the League Secretary regarding bad weather (29th Nov)

Message to captains: Hopefully all the fixtures will still be able to take place (my road has thawed out today) but, if you have any doubts about being able to travel, please keep your opposing captain informed,and remember that you do need to seek permission to postpone the fixture. If you cannot get hold of me (I'll be unavailable from Wed 01 to Wed 08 incl) then please contact the records secretary Dave Griffiths (apologies Dave). Thanks, Drag Sudar NCA League Secretary .

Brighton Congress (19th Nov)

Only 2 Notts players took part in this competition and both competed in the Open section. Claudio Mangione (Grantham) scored 3/5 and won a grading prize of £50. David Coates (Grantham) scored 2½/5.

Scarborough Congress (3rd Nov)

A number of Notts players made the trip up to Scarborough to play in this weekend congress. Unfortunately no one made it into the prize money but Daniel Broughton (Nottinghamshire) scored 3/5 in the Major and David Dunne (West Notts) also scored 3/5 in the Minor. Here is a summary of all the Notts players who took part (all scores out of 5):

Local Nottinghamshire Tournaments (21st Oct)

There are 3 local tournaments being held this season. The Nottinghamshire County Championship takes place on 27-28 Nov. Next year there is the Nottingham Rapidplay on 23 Jan and then the Nottingham Congress on 2-3 Apr. The reason for the congress being earlier next year is because Easter is very late and it must be before Easter. Entry forms are now available for all 3 competitions.

Hull Congress (21st Oct)

David Dunne (West Notts) came equal 2nd place in the minor section with a score of 4/5 and won £75 prize money.

Leicester Congress (5th Oct)

There was a good turnout of Notts players at the Leicester Congress (1-3 October). Peter Mercs (Gambit), Claudio Mangione (Grantham) and David Coates (Grantham) tied for 3rd place in the Open. Peter and Claudio shared the prize money for 3rd place (£50 split 6 ways - £8.33 each) and the Over 2000 grading prize of £50 went to David. A summary of all the Notts players who took part are as follows (all scores out of 5):

Nottinghamshire withdraw teams from 4NCL (14th Sep)

"Nottinghamshire have decided to withdraw their teams from the 4NCL. This is following the 4NCL Board's decision to fine Nottinghamshire £80 for defaulting six boards in Round Six on 21st February. The players concerned could not reach the venue as they were snowed in on the morning of the 21st February which made travelling impossible. The 4NCL rules in force in 2010 with no right of appeal and no exceptions for penalties has meant that this fine is unable to be waived. The Notts CA Executive and AGM has considered this and feels given the circumstances this is unreasonable and is therefore withdrawing from the League."

Statement from Robert Richmond, President NCA, On behalf of the Executive Committee.

Summary of Executive Committee Meeting held on August 6th (5th Sep)

Here is a quick summary of the main points of the meeting:

  1. The EC for 2010-11 will be R.Richmond, A.Walker, S.Burke (Association Officers), M.Hill (LMC Rep), N.Graham, D.Levens (Co-opted members) additionally Alan Kenyon (West Nottingham) has accepted the invitation agreed at the meeting to be the 3rd Co-Opted member.
  2. 4NCL - The decision not to pay the fine for the defaults in round 6 was confirmed, and no teams will be entered for 2010/11.
  3. A OPEN team would be entered in the MCCU top section (Likely opponents Warwicks, Staffs, Derbys & Manchester). The U180 team would continue (only likely opponents Warwicks).
  4. An U100 team based on junior players would be entered, as suggested at the AGM. The only likely opponents would be Warwicks.
  5. Congress & Rapidplay - various improvements were agreed to the draft entry forms. The dates for the coming season (agreed at the previous meeting) are: County Championship Nov 27/28, Rapidplay Sunday Jan 23rd 2011, Congress April 2/3 2011 (Early this season, because Easter is very late).
  6. David Levens outlined various ideas for what a Junior Trust could do.
  7. A weekly chess column on Saturday in the Nottingham Evening Post is likely to be re-established from September.

Summary from Robert Richmond. The full minutes is available to read.

14th Mind Sports Olympiad (15th Aug)

The 14th Mind Sports Olympiad will be held at the Soho Theatre, London from 21-30 August. The chess events running are the Chess Olympiad Championship (20 mins), Exchange Chess (Siamese / Bughouse - 5 minutes blitz) and Chess 960 (20 min + 5 sec inc). See the official web site for further details.

Chess column in Nottingham Post (15th Aug)

From September onwards David Levens will be writing a regular chess column in Saturday's Post.

Thetford Rapidplay (15th Aug)

The Thetford Rapidplay chess tournament is taking place in September. If you are interested in playing then download the entry form. For further details please contact Kevin Moore.

British Championships (9th Aug)

The 97th British Chess Championships recently took place in Canterbury, Kent. While the Championship and Major Open run over the full 2 weeks there are several other competitions which go on including weekenders, rapidplays and 5 day opens.

The 2 best results for Notts players were Peter Mercs (Gambit) coming 2nd place in the 5 day morning event in the 2nd week and winning £75 prize money, and Alex Combie (Newark) coming equal 2nd place in the first week rapidplay and winning £23.33 prize money. The leading Notts player in the Championship was Paul Cumbers (Grantham) finishing on 6/11.

A selection of games is now available for replay.

Some photos (taken from the BritishChess10 web site):

Peter Mercs (right) against Andrew P Smith

Paul Cumbers playing in the British Championship


NAG Challenge (29th Jul)

This year's NAG Challenge was held on 15th July. Nomad won easily and were 5 points ahead of their nearest rival Ashfield. Drag Sudar reports.

County Championships - U140 Final stages (19th Jul)

The U140 team drew 8-8 with Hampshire but conceded the title on board count. The team have had an excellent run this season and will hopefully mount a similar challenge again next season. A summary of the match is available.

Best Game Prizes 2008-10 (19th Jul)

The games submitted have been assessed by Mike Barnes, whose decision is that the two winners are Pablo Padilla for his game vs Jon Tait in the league in 2008-09 and Richard Myers for his game vs Phil Morgan, also in the League in 2008-09. Andy Walker thanks everyone who entered and to those who added interesting commentary on the circumstances of the game, and to Mike for his adjudication.View Games.

Sad news regarding Ben Hobson (13th Jul)

Benjamin Lewis Hobson, 1934 - 2010

Ben died on 12th June 2010 aged 75 years and his funeral took place at Wilford Hill on Tuesday 29th June. The mourners included Mike Barnes, Dorothy Blampied, Steve Foster, Alan Groves, Brian Hayward, Ken Heath, Peter Mercs, Derek Padvis, Simon Parham, Keith Roper and John Swain.

Ben was born in Yorkshire, and after leaving school, worked on fairgrounds, where he met his future wife. They did not consider a fairground lifestyle appropriate for their three children and they decided to settle in Nottingham. Ben and his wife ran a café in Netherfield for a number of years before Ben re-trained as a welder, and latterly he worked as a maintenance fitter for Chettles.

Gambit Chess Club was founded in 1967, in the Blue Bell Public House, in the centre of Nottingham. It is not known when Ben first joined the club, but Paul Kemp remembers joining Gambit in 1970 and captaining the first team from the start of the 1971/72 season. Ben was a regular, playing in all 12 matches and scoring nine wins and three draws, by some way the team’s highest scorer. Ben continued to play regularly for the first team in the following season, and (as the club got stronger) more occasionally thereafter.

Alan Groves remembers an occasion when Ben was in the City Hospital where he was being treated by a consultant surgeon who also played for Gambit. Being keen to field their strongest team, the consultant surgeon collected Ben from his hospital bed, took him to the match, and returned him safely back to the hospital ward afterwards!

Ben regularly played in the League for Gambit and in Congresses both locally and further afield including Scarborough, and he also played regularly for the County. His style of play usually involved sharper or tactical positions and he had a strong will to win. Ben was a very polite, reliable, and sociable player, the type of person that is a great credit to any club. Gambit and Notts chess have greatly benefited from his enthusiasm for the game, and he will be remembered with very fond memories.

(Brian Hayward, Secretary Gambit Chess Club)

AGM Reminder (30th Jun)

This is a reminder that the AGM will be held at the Gambit CC from 7.30pm on Tuesday 13th July.

Sad news regarding Cliff Potter (24th Jun)

Clifford Potter, Ashfield Chess Club player, passed away at the Sir John Eastwood Hospice on the 7th, June.

Clifford played for the Club since 1968, making his debut as a 12 year-old. He has been battling against cancer for the last year, and did not play in the 2009-10 League season.

Although not one of the strongest players at the club, Cliff was capable on his day of defeating very strong opponents. In the early 1980’s he defeated Canadian Grandmaster, Biayisis, in a simultaneous display. He showed that this was no fluke in the next year by defeating Paul Littlewood, IM and then British Champion, also in a simultaneous match.

Opponents underestimated Cliff at their peril and from time to time Cliff pulled off some startling victories.

Cliff had great enthusiasm for chess. For several years, he ran a juniors section of the club.

Cliff played in the Ashfield team which won the inaugural Handicap K.O. competition. His last game in the League came at the end of the 2008-9 season. He very nearly pulled off a surprise win against former club-mate, George Murfet, before succumbing to a narrow defeat.

Cliff was always a polite and courteous player, who thanked and shook hands with opponents even after friendly games in the club. He was a great trier, who visibly concentrated very hard to try to work out positions on the board.

Cliff maintained the same positive, battling approach throughout his illness. Cliff will be missed at Ashfield chess club. He demonstrated that you don’t have to be a top player to leave your mark in chess or to encourage and inspire youngsters.

(Phil Morgan, Ashfield Chess Club)

County Championships - Semi Final stages (21st Jun)

The U180 team beat Essex on board count after the score was 8-8. They reach the national final and play Warwickshire. There was similar success for the U140 team who beat Yorkshire 9-6. The score was originally 8-8 with Yorkshire to go through but this was overturned after it was discovered that Yorkshire had fielded an ineligible player and were correctly penalised. The U140 team either face Suffolk or Hampshire in the final. The finals take place on July 10th.

Sunningdale Congress (14th Jun)

Ian Kingston (West Notts) came equal first in the Major section with a score of 5½/7 and won £166.50 prize money. Despite getting off to a slow start he finished strongly by winning 4 games in a row. David Coates (Grantham) played in the Open section and scored 4/7. Also, Stephen Thacker (West Nottingham) scored 3½/7 in the Minor and won the Best Slow Starter prize which is free entry to the next e2e4 competition.

County Championships - Quarter Final stages (1st Jun)

The U180 team narrowly beat Bedfordshire 8½-7½ to progress through to the semi final stage. Unfortunately for the U160 team they were beaten 9-7 by Suffolk in the quarter final stage. The U140 team had a good win over Surrey, beating them 8½-7½ and progress to the semi final stage. The semi finals are due to take place on June 19. Results are available for: U180, U160, u140.